Award Finalist: Francelia Belton

2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition Finalist - Francelia BeltonFrancelia Belton’s crime thriller short story, “Knife Girl,” is a finalist in the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition. Her story was selected out of almost 1,500 submissions.

Hollywood has adapted countless movies and TV pilots from great short stories. The ScreenCraft competition looks for stories with cinematic potential to be adapted for the screen.

To see the list of all the finalists, go to:

Publication News: Amy Drayer

Now available on Audible and iTunes –

Revelation: The Makah Island Mysteries, Book One.

Written by Amy Drayer and read by Helen Gordon.

Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Joanna Ford abandons a twenty-year career and moves to rural Makah Island in the Pacific Northwest to care for her ailing wife. She takes a job at the weekly local paper to pay the bills and it’s as mind-numbing as the endless overcast days. But when she finally gets that big break, she discovers a community and a way of life forgotten by most lies tangled in a hidden web of deception, drug abuse, and murder. To crack the case and save Makah, Joanna will first have to save herself – to learn from her storied past, and then let it go.

Learn more about Joanna Ford and Makah Island at

New Release: One of Her Own by Shawn McGuire

One of Her Own (A Gemi Kittredge Mystery, Book 1) by Shawn McGuire

Gemi Kittredge was thirteen years old when an assault changed her life. That night, she vowed to never be a victim again. She earned a black belt in taekwondo, became the top ranked MMA fighter on Maui, and made it her life’s mission to help vulnerable women and children. Now, armed with ability and the satisfaction that comes from making a difference in people’s lives, Gemi is ready for any challenge.

Then, during an early morning run along the ocean, Gemi finds the body of a young woman. She knows her. Heleena was a fighter at her gym.

Gemi calls 911, but she doesn’t trust cops. They failed to get justice for her in the past, so even though they assure her they’re on the case, Gemi goes hunting for Heleena’s killer on her own. And as she gets closer to the truth, her deepest fears rise to the surface. If she’s right about who the killer is, nowhere is safe.

Reader Quotes:

“A strong female protagonist and a storyline that is refreshing along with characters that have depth and intriguing backstories kept me turning the pages.”

“Gemi is a wonderfully complex character, and this story plunges us into a tropical paradise filled with friendship, suspense, and a glimpse into the world of mixed martial arts competition.”

“From the first page I was drawn in with Gemi’s back story, and the love between two sisters.”

“The mystery that followed had me staying up far too late to finish the book!”

Get your copy here:

To learn more about Shawn and her books, visit

Publication Deal: Debra Bokur

THE LAVA WITCH, the third book in the Dark Paradise Mysteries series by Debra Bokur, has been announced by Kensington Books for release in Spring 2022.

Detective Kali Mahoe will return to discover if an ancient legend of sorcery is behind a new case of murder and mayhem in Hawaii.

For more information about Debra and her series, please visit:

Appearances: Finding Your Side Hustle with Debra Bokur

Finding Your Side Hustle with Debra Bokur
February 13, 2021 from 9:00 to 10:30 AM MST

Join Debra as she and her husband share the challenges of renovating an old Victorian inn built in 1860 in a small Maine town while doing their best not to annoy its two resident ghosts (a friendly lady in the kitchen, and a ghost cat in the guestrooms). While continuing her Dark Paradise Mysteries series—and introducing a new cozy magical mystery series set in (you guessed it) an old New England inn—Debra will also be hosting retreats and weekends featuring visiting authors, artists and other fascinating folk.

The free presentation from the University of Maine at Machias requires pre-registration in order to receive the Zoom link:

Event: Self-Publishing in 2021 – Tips for Finding Success in the World of Self-Publishing with Victorine Lieske

Quarterly Chapter Meeting/Event:
February 27, 2021

Via Zoom
(Information on how to join the presentation will be posted in the Sisters in Crime-Colorado members listserv.)


10:00 am-10:30 am
Welcome, Introductions

10:30 am-12:00 pm
Self-Publishing in 2021 – Tips for Finding Success in the World of Self-Publishing with Victorine Lieske

Many authors today are finding success in the self-publishing arena. Come learn why many authors are choosing to self-publish, and how they are taking advantage of the benefits. You will learn how to position your self-published books for more visibility, and what strategies authors are using to launch their books into the top ranks.

About the Presenter:

Victorine Lieske self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6 week run on The New York Times best selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine’s first romantic comedy novel hit the USA Today Bestselling books list in January 2015.

Victorine and her husband live in Nebraska with their four children and two cats. She loves all things romance and is addicted to swoony Korean dramas. When she’s not writing, she’s designing book covers for authors or making something with her extensive yarn collection.

For more information about Victorine and her work, please visit her website at:


New Release: A Pairing to Die For by Kate Lansing

Publication date: January 26, 2021 from Berkley

A Pairing to Die For (A Colorado Wine Mystery Book 2) by Kate Lansing

A young winemaker is over a barrel when her new boyfriend is accused of murder in this delightful cozy mystery.

It’s fall in Boulder, Colorado, and the leaves aren’t the only things changing. Parker Valentine, owner of Vino Valentine, is finally settling in to her winery and her new relationship with Reid Wallace, a local chef. But their delicate pairing is endangered when Reid’s estranged family comes into town to celebrate the opening of his new restaurant.

Reid and his family are immediately at loggerheads, given their often acidic temperaments, but Parker still wants to make a good first impression. However, her efforts might be in vain when Reid’s sous chef is found dead in the alley behind the restaurant, and Reid is implicated in the murder. In order to save Reid, Parker will have to find the real killer, even if the truth is difficult to swallow.

“In A Pairing to Die For, author Kate Lansing blends murder with wine-making, a town full of quirky characters, and a breathtaking setting for a delightful cozy read that goes down a treat.” –Marty Wingate

For more information about this series and Kate, visit

Event: February 2021 Book Club

The Sisters in Crime-CO Book Club February 2021 reads are The Mona Lisa Sisters by George Cramer (Longmont), Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley (Fort Collins), and The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson (Parker).

Free and open to the public. Come chat with the author and other readers! And if you don’t have a chance to read the book, that’s quite all right. Many times we discuss craft and the publishing process as well as the book, so all are welcome!

PLEASE NOTE: During the current coronavirus situation, our book clubs are meeting online via Zoom. Sisters in Crime-Colorado members can get the link to the Zoom meeting on the chapter listserv. Non-members may request the meeting link by sending an email to:

For more information, including specific dates, times, and locations, please visit

Hope you can join us!